East Bay Green Corridor

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The East Bay Green Corridor is a regional partnership working toward promoting the San Francisco East Bay as a global center of the emerging green economy. The members are thirteen East Bay cities, schools and research institutions. [1] The partnership's stated goals are to attract and retain green businesses, promote research and technology transfer, strengthen green workforce development programs, and coordinate a regional effort to secure federal funding. [2] West Berkeley activists have criticized the City of Berkeley's planned implementation of the corridor, over concerns that zoning regulations may be relaxed for the benefit of developers and large corporations, and could negatively impact the city's light manufacturing district. [3] [4]

The green economy is defined as economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment. It is closely related with ecological economics, but has a more politically applied focus. The 2011 UNEP Green Economy Report argues "that to be green, an economy must not only be efficient, but also fair. Fairness implies recognizing global and country level equity dimensions, particularly in assuring a just transition to an economy that is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive."

Berkeley, California City in California, United States

Berkeley is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California. It is named after the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. It borders the cities of Oakland and Emeryville to the south and the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington to the north. Its eastern border with Contra Costa County generally follows the ridge of the Berkeley Hills. The 2010 census recorded a population of 112,580.

Contents

History

The East Bay Green Corridor was announced on Dec. 3, 2007 at a new solar-energy facility in Richmond, California. [5] The partnership had six founding members: [6]

Richmond, California City in California, United States

Richmond is a city in western Contra Costa County, California, United States. The city was incorporated on August 7, 1905. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, Richmond borders the cities of San Pablo, Albany, El Cerrito and Pinole in addition to the unincorporated communities of North Richmond, Hasford Heights, Kensington, El Sobrante, Bayview-Montalvin Manor, Tara Hills, and East Richmond Heights, and for a short distance San Francisco on Red Rock Island in the San Francisco Bay. Richmond is one of two cities, the other being San Rafael, California, that sits on the shores of San Francisco Bay and San Pablo Bay simultaneously.

Tom Bates American politician

Thomas H. Bates was the 21st mayor of Berkeley, California, and a member of the California State Assembly. Bates is married to Loni Hancock, another former mayor of Berkeley and State Assembly member who served in the California State Senate. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and was a member of the Golden Bears' 1959 Rose Bowl team. Bates was a captain in the United States Army Reserves after graduating from college and served in Germany. He worked in real estate before serving on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and in the state legislature.

Emeryville, California City in California, United States

Emeryville is a small city located in northwest Alameda County, California, in the United States. It lies in a corridor between the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, extending to the shore of San Francisco Bay. Its proximity to San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the University of California, Berkeley, and Silicon Valley has been a catalyst for recent economic growth.

Oakland, California City in California, United States

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 432,897 as of 2019, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.

At a press conference to announce its creation, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates predicted that "the Silicon Valley of the green economy is going to be here in the East Bay." [5] The partners all pledge to hold an annual green economic summit, set quarterly meetings of the directors of economic development, workforce development and technology transfer offices, and to coordinate a major new regional green job training and placement effort. [6]

Silicon Valley Region in California, United States

Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California that serves as a global center for high technology, innovation, and social media. It corresponds roughly to the geographical Santa Clara Valley, although its boundaries have increased in recent decades. San Jose is the Valley's largest city, the third-largest in California, and the tenth-largest in the United States. Other major Silicon Valley cities include Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. The San Jose Metropolitan Area has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world, according to the Brookings Institution.

Expansion

In June 2009, the East Bay Green Corridor held its second annual summit at the Oakland Museum of California. Seven new members were announced: [7]

Oakland Museum of California museum in Oakland, California

The Oakland Museum of California or OMCA is an interdisciplinary museum dedicated to the art, history, and natural science of California, located adjacent to Oak Street, 10th Street, and 11th Street in Oakland, California. The museum contains more than 1.8 million objects dedicated to "telling the extraordinary story of California." It was created in the mid-1960s out of the merger of three separate museums dating from the early 20th century, and was opened in 1969.

Alameda, California City in California in the United States

Alameda is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island. It is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Bay Farm Island, a portion of which is also known as "Harbor Bay Isle", is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. The city's estimated 2017 population was 79,928. Alameda is a charter city, rather than a general law city, which allows it to provide for any form of government. Alameda became a charter city and adopted a council–manager government in 1916, which it retains to the present.

Albany, California City in California, United States

Albany is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northwestern Alameda County, California. The population was 18,539 at the 2010 census and is estimated to be 20,143 in 2017.

El Cerrito, California City in California, United States

El Cerrito is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States, and forms part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It has a population of 23,549 according to the 2010 census. El Cerrito was founded by refugees from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It was incorporated in 1917 as a village with 1,500 residents. As of the census in 2000, there were 23,171 people, 10,208 households and 5,971 families in the city. The top 20 employers in the city, according to the 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, include such entities as the West Contra Costa Unified School District, the City of El Cerrito, Lucky Stores, Pastime ACE Hardware, and Honda of El Cerrito.

At the summit, the partnership announced that it had secured its first direct funding, a federal earmark worth $147,000 for job training. [8]

In August 2009, East Bay Green Corridor hired its first full-time director, Carla Din, who previously served as a director at the Apollo Alliance, a green energy nonprofit in San Francisco. Members of the partnership contribute $10,000 a year for staff salaries and marketing. The project is fiscally sponsored by the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, which also provides office space from its Oakland headquarters. [1] [9]

Plans for implementing the East Bay Green Corridor have led to a significant zoning controversy in Berkeley, particularly in the light industrial area known as West Berkeley. To entice green energy start-ups to the area, Bates and city planning staff have proposed changing existing zoning regulations and instituting a revised master use permit process. The effect of these proposed changes, according to media reports, would be to double the allowed height of new buildings and allow office complexes to be built.

A group of community activists known as West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies (WeBAIC) have strongly opposed the zoning changes, arguing that they will hurt the economic vitality and unique character of the neighborhood. [3] [4] [10] Some of the coalition's members have also argued that allowing developers to erect expensive condominiums and office buildings will price existing businesses out of the neighborhood and force their relocation. [3]

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References

  1. 1 2 Jones, Carolyn (June 27, 2009), "East Bay Green Corridor grows, cash pours in", San Francisco Chronicle
  2. "Redman, Elizabeth (October 2009), "Building the East Bay Green Economy: Critical Steps for Supporting & Engaging East Bay Businesses", Page 4, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  3. 1 2 3 Kane, Yukari Iwatani (March 18, 2010),"West Berkeley Redevelopment Hits Opposition", Wall Street Journal
  4. 1 2 ""Critical West Berkeley 'Flexibility' Rezoning Proposals" (June 11, 2008), West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies". Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  5. 1 2 Jones, Carolyn (December 4, 2007), "East Bay mayors, UC chancellor unite for 'Green Wave'", San Francisco Chronicle
  6. 1 2 "East Bay Green Corridor Statement of Principles", (December 3, 2007), City of Berkeley
  7. Bronstein, Zelda (July 7, 2009), "East Bay Green Corridor: Green for All?", BeyondChron
  8. Burress, Charles, (April 8, 2009), "East Bay tries to take lead in green economy", San Francisco Chronicle
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2012-04-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Brenneman, Richard (April 1, 2009), "Proposal Would Raise West Berkeley Skyline", The Berkeley Daily Planet